Teachers (New & Experienced) Information Thread!

prof ash

O.G.
Jun 10, 2007
2,419
413
USA
I've searched and haven't found anything on this topic but need help!

I'm a first year teacher and am EXTREMELY nervous. I'm 22, just graduated college, and will be teaching high school Spanish starting on Wednesday. I've met with my mentor, attempted my lesson plans, have tons of materials... but it's the inexperience and just plain new-ness that's killing me. It's overall anxiety. The students, planning, paperwork, legal aspects of the job, schedules, duties, classroom supplies, behavior, just EVERYTHING. I keep thinking I should have picked another job, but what else could I have done with English & Spanish than teach? My heart is in it, but my head is going berserk-o with nerves :sad:

I'm not looking for advice. I get advice from everyone and their mom about teaching. I want to hear your first year experience, how you felt, what your first day/weeks were like. I hear advice from experienced teachers on things that I can only develop in time from my own experience, like behavior management or what games that work. I want to hear what it was like BEFORE you had that experience and were just as scared as I am. I want to hear HOW you survived, and that you DID survive! :smile:

Last thing - any other women out there who "look young"? If I hear it one more time :cursing::cursing: "OH. YOU'RE a new teacher here? I thought you were a student." "Hmpf. <<Looks me up and down>> Well, good luck." "What, did you graduate like 2 days ago?" . The rudeness! Way to be outwardly critical and judge a book by its cover, just because of how I look! So what?!?

Thank you for any stories! I want to hear! :smile:
 
Jan 28, 2007
11,349
6
Basically I was in the same boat as you two years ago... no experience, "look young," overwhelmed... that was totally me! I am going on my third year and still nervous as anything about the first day. I hope my students are as good as they were last year! My first year was difficult... it's just a learning experience and everyone has to get through it. Luckily it does get easier each year, and I've heard it from many. Don't worry, you'll survive... I worked in an inner-city school my first year. I was pretty much sick to my stomach every night and day. However, I survived the year, I just stuck with it. I moved to another district and am very happy with the school and I loved my students.

PM me if you want! :smile: By the way, I agree it is rude to tell you that you look like a student, but it's a compliment at the same time... it's good to look young, as long as you dress professionally! :smile:
 

prof ash

O.G.
Jun 10, 2007
2,419
413
USA
^^ thanks exotikitten! it's so helpful to hear that it does get better. however, it seriously upsets me that you were sick to your stomach over your job. shouldn't it *not* be this way once you've worked hard in college to get into the professional world? i have friends who have jobs right now making more money than me, and are way less stressed out, in offices with air conditioning, hour long lunches. not to say that their jobs aren't stressful, but it's a different sort of stress. one that you leave at the office and pick up the next day- it doesn't come home with you. there are so many different types of jobs, and i had no clue what to do after college! teaching seems perfect, but it's so... much! again, it makes me wonder why i picked this field. i know why i did originally, but i am having my doubts because i already am stressed out (all summer) and haven't even started yet.

so i hope it *does* get better. all of the women at orientation today (experienced teachers) looked so ... well-kept. i was surprised. i don't see how i can be a stressball and get burned out in this professional yet the older teachers were so composed and had their skill so crafted. so i'm hoping these feelings go away eventually and that i can be like them when i am older, too! :sad:
 

Michie757

Trini To da Bone
Jun 3, 2008
498
0
Brooklyn
I am an after school teacher, but what I notice is that once you have lesson plans you class should run find. The first day is always insane. You have so many things running threw your head........Remember they ARE high school kids. So just make the class fun a few days and listen to them and they would love coming to your class.

"So WHAT if you look young, you should be proud to have your degree at such a young age":woohoo:
 

GhstDreamer

Lady Philosophy
Authenticator
O.G.
May 13, 2008
14,571
1,655
Near carnage alley
I'm not young but I do look quite young and during my first year of teaching, a vice-principal thought I was one of the students and not her spec. ed. support teacher/consultant (it was the first time meeting me). She even told me to get back into class in front of the students! She apologized afterwards because it was kind of embarrassing.

My first year of teaching was a bit different from most - I specialized in special education and worked mostly on the consulting and administrative side with children who has profound behavioural disorders at a high needs school. I used to be buried up to my eyeballs with paperwork and contacts as well as specializing certain programs and supporting the classroom teacher with individualized programming. I had an office and would bring in 1 - 4 students at a time and work directly with them. It was very stressful working with children who are outside the norm but it was also a great learning experience. I had some students who threw pencils and chairs at me, one death threat and one biting incident on my arm! Last year I moved to a different school and it was my first year in an actual classroom (I requested to be out of spec. ed consulting!) and I love having my own classroom! It's going to tough your first year but try to enjoy it at the same time! After your first year, you won't even need lesson plans! lol

It's normal to be completely stressed out over the first day or even the first week of school! I'm getting nervous about the first day right now! Teaching isn't like having an office job - you're in charge of the formal education of a whole group of children and you are liable for those children who aren't yours. Of course it's a whole different kind of stress than someone working in an office. You are right - it's not really a job you can just leave once you get home. I know I would go home on a lot of nights and wondering how I could've improved on a lesson, handle a behaviour issue better, what other materials I have to buy, etc. As much as it is stressful, it can be rewarding as well (and not just financially :biggrin:)...
 

[coco]

LVoe
O.G.
Nov 4, 2007
5,444
58
Australia
I am a high school teacher (in Australia... so that means I teach 12 to 17 year olds). I teach in what is statistically a school that is 'second from the bottom' in terms of the socio-economics of the area, our clientelle... and of course... our results. I teach hard kids basically! But I am also a vocal coach and I direct shows with young people.

I personally forget about the school the minute I get into my car to go home. I have to if I want to stay sane.

You will be fine!! You worked hard to get to this point. Just own it in the first 30 seconds when you meet a class and you will be ok. Show no mercy and definitely start hard and only trust them when they have earnt it.

BTW....I also get 'you're a teacher...?" still! And I am 25!!! I started teaching when I was 20 and the oldest student I taught was 19. Kind of weird being called "Miss" then!!
 

rubyjuls

Rosemary
O.G.
Sep 1, 2007
3,281
116
New York
I've been teaching second grade for five years now (I subbed off and on for a year before I got a full time teaching position). The first year is really hard. I think I may have blanked most of it out by this point, but I do remember coming home and crying several times. It definitely gets better though. After you get the first year under your belt you will be completely fine. I think what makes the first year so hard is that no matter what people tell you or you think you know, teaching is one of those things you kind of learn as you do it. The more time/experience you get teaching, the easier it will become for you.

I know you don't want advice, but the best advice for the first year is that whenever it gets hard, just remember it's hard for everyone the first year and think about how much easier it will be next year! :smile:

I'm 26 now, so was young when I started teaching as well. I also look young so got the 'you look really young' thing a lot. I was (and still am) the baby on staff, so actually got teased quite a bit about my age, lol. You get used to it after awhile. Once people realize age doesn't have much to do with your ability, competency or age they leave you alone. :yes:
 

GhstDreamer

Lady Philosophy
Authenticator
O.G.
May 13, 2008
14,571
1,655
Near carnage alley
[coco];7702156 said:
I personally forget about the school the minute I get into my car to go home. I have to if I want to stay sane.
I have friends who are high school teachers as well and they tend to be much better at forgetting about school once they leave work than us elementary teachers. I guess it's because at the elementary level, the kids are so young...I had a few students who would call me "mom" by accident...it's kind of funny.:rolleyes:
 

Faith

He makes me smile!
O.G.
Jan 31, 2006
2,381
7
over the moon
I've been teaching high school English for 7 years. I still get butterflies! Don't stress- be yourself, do the best you can and you shouldn't have any trouble. My first year was so difficult. It's very hard work at the beginning. But trust me, it gets so much better.

*and yes, I look young, and have heard the, "are you a teacher or student" lots of times. It's definitely annoying!!*
 

runner22

dreaming of Coach...
O.G.
Jan 13, 2008
2,269
3
Hawkeye State
I'm not a teacher, but a first year paraeducator that works one on one with a special needs kid. I just graduated in May with degrees totally unrelated to special ed, but took the job.

I was pretty nervous before the school year started because I had never met the kid for more than a couple minutes, and I don't have much experience working with kids with autism. After almost two weeks, I've relaxed quite a bit and really enjoy my job now. It helps to always talk it out with everyone in the room too.

I'm 22 and I look pretty young as well. I've been mistaken for a kid many times in the school and in public. As in I can get the kids discount at movie theatres and am always offered kids menus in restaurants. The funny thing is that I'm married too! haha.
 
Jan 29, 2006
7,076
7
Chicago, IL
My first year in the schools was really hard so I can symapthize with you! I looked you ng and FELT young and super inexperienced. It does get better. The first year is definitely the hardest. Keep meeting w/ your mentor as often as you can and ask questions, meet w/ other new teachers, etc. That helps alot!

Anne
 

prof ash

O.G.
Jun 10, 2007
2,419
413
USA
Each and every one of these posts was wonderful, practical information - and just what I needed to hear!! Thank you so much!!!

Today was new teacher orientation and I witnessed people from all walks of life- different ages, content areas, full-time and maternity leave positions, everything. The one thing we all had in common is that we cried when the principal read us a touching story about a child writing letters back to his teacher years later telling her how she helped him succeed. (I'll try to find it and post a link! It's great!). Remembering that we are all there because we want to help kids in some way made me feel much more comforted. I'm expecting the anxiety to continue, but now I also realize that it's part of the process and that good comes with it as well :smile:
 

[coco]

LVoe
O.G.
Nov 4, 2007
5,444
58
Australia
I have friends who are high school teachers as well and they tend to be much better at forgetting about school once they leave work than us elementary teachers. I guess it's because at the elementary level, the kids are so young...I had a few students who would call me "mom" by accident...it's kind of funny.:rolleyes:

pahaha! This still happens even when they are 17!!!! :roflmfao:
 

hamstahon

Loooves her babies!
O.G.
Jun 13, 2007
1,034
0
CT
first of all, congratulations on your job! i can already tell that even though you're nervous, you're also excited and i'm sure you'll make a great teacher!

i started teaching kindergarten at a private daycare 3 years ago. before that, i subbed for a year and tutored special ed for a few months, both at the elementary level. i'm also young looking (started working at 22) and the older kids especially would think i was just a teenager. it was nerve wracking, sometimes i had no idea what i was doing, but i loved every minute of it. just knowing that i was making a difference in a child's life, no matter how small, was enough to get me through the day. i don't think i ever went home unfulfilled with the career i chose.

teaching kindergarten took some adjusting to because i was switching from working with semi-older kids in public school to 5 year olds at a daycare. it's a whole different world with the ratios and rules. i felt like my Director was watching my every move and breathing down my neck all the time and i was really stressed out. i almost always brought work home, and i still do! but everything always works out in the end and my Director and i have a wonderful relationship now. three years later, i no longer teach and am the Program Specialist at the same center (sort of like Assistant Director, i do training, hiring, tours, and oversee class programs). i'm also working towards maybe becoming a director in the future.

so that's my story, sorry for the long post. take your job one day at a time, don't let the stress get to you, and HAVE FUN! you've got one of the best jobs in the world, enjoy it :smile: